Visitors from all over the world come to the Grand Canyon each year, and the majority of them reach the area via air travel. If you’re looking for a Grand Canyon airport for your vacation in the Southwest, you’ll find various regional airports to consider. One of the results of the canyon’s remote location, is you aren’t limited to one airport as the most convenient when trying to fly to the Grand Canyon area; it varies based on whether you want to visit the North Rim or South Rim, how far you want to drive, and whether you want to add any other attractions such as Antelope Canyon or Monument Valley to your itinerary.
Grand Canyon Airport
Grand Canyon Airport
The closest airport to the Grand Canyon is the Grand Canyon National Park Airport, which is located six miles south of Grand Canyon Village in the town of Tusayan, near the South Rim. Other than day tour flights that originate out of Las Vegas, this airport doesn’t have regularly scheduled commercial flight service, so it is not where most air travelers arrive when trying to get to the Grand Canyon region. If you are interested in a tour once you arrive, however, scenic air tours can be arranged at the Grand Canyon National Park Airport. These tours allow visitors to get a bird’s-eye view of one of the world’s most amazing natural attractions.
Flagstaff Pulliam Airport
Of all the regional airports that have commercial service, none is closer to the Grand Canyon than the Flagstaff Pulliam Airport. Located off Interstate 17, the Flagstaff Pulliam Airport is just three miles south of Flagstaff. From there, travelers who are trying to get to the Grand Canyon most often rent a car and take Highway 89 to get to one of the two roads that lead to the South Rim entrances of Grand Canyon National Park. Flights that arrive at the Flagstaff Airport typically come from Phoenix, Los Angeles, and Chicago.
Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport
If you are trying to get to the South Rim area of Grand Canyon National Park, you can also rely on the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. It might not be as close to the South Rim entrances as the Flagstaff Airport, but it gets more commercial flights and is a more popular option overall; many travelers find that it has the cheapest flights. The airport in Phoenix is the busiest airport in Arizona and the largest commercial airport in the Southwest. Three different terminals help the airport deal with its high amount of traffic, and there is free shuttle service between these terminals. As for getting to the Grand Canyon from the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, renting a car is once again the option of choice for most. The drive takes a few hours, but there is plenty of wonderful scenery to take in along the way.
The Sedona Airport isn’t the busiest airport in Arizona or the airport of choice for most air travelers who are trying to get to the Grand Canyon region, but it can come in handy for some, especially those who have a private plane or helicopter, or access to a charter flight. Business jets are particularly popular arrivals, and it should be noted that it is possible to catch a charter flight from the Sedona Airport to the Grand Canyon National Park Airport. Also worth noting is the location of the Sedona Airport. Found about three miles from the city’s main business district, it sits atop a mesa and offers splendid views of the beautiful Sedona area landscape.
Las Vegas Airport
The Las Vegas Airport, or the McCarran International Airport, as it is more officially known, is a great option for travelers who want to get to the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. This is because it is easy to pick up Interstate 15 in Las Vegas, and the Arizona airports require an extra 200-mile drive to get from the South to the North Rim of the canyon. If you fly into Las Vegas, after driving east along I-15, you can access the main roads that lead to the entrance of the North Rim. The drive between Las Vegas and the North Rim entrance is approximately 260 miles, and usually takes around five hours to complete, though it depends on how many stops you choose to make en route, and there is plenty to see if you want to take it slow on the way down.
Image: brewbrooks (flickr), CC BY-SA 2.0